As David Kohn writes in the Baltimore Sun, the debate about whether food dyes cause behavioral problems in some kids is heating up again. The concerns about dyes began back in the 1960s, and more pediatricians and neuroscientists think that these chemicals could cause problems for some kids. Activists have asked the FDA to review its policy and limit the use of dyes in common foods. This is a portion of Kohn's article:
"Scientists aren't sure how these chemicals might affect the brain. There are only eight artificial food dyes used in the U.S. To get specific colors, manufacturers mix them.
"All are made from petroleum or coal tar, and most are in the "azo" family, which means they contain a specific kind of nitrogen. Some researchers have found evidence that azo dyes interfere with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the ability to focus and think clearly."
Many parents have anectodal evidence that removing dye-containing foods from their kids' diets have led to improvements with severe behavior problems. Still an unresolved issue, but interesting and ongoing. It sounds like it's worth a try.